mikeweil

BFT 117 answers

21 posts in this topic

The main theme of this BFT was, easily detected, the vibes in jazz, modern, that is. Originally I had pretty ambitious plans, like having some rare Cal Tjader on every other track, or compiling a bonus disc with all Tjader rarities, but lack of time and a feeling that this might be a little over-ambitious made me change my mind. I also had to drop a lot of tracks off my list, otherwise it would have been a double disc, but who knows what I will do when it's my next turn ...
Two sub-themes linger among the tracks I selected: 1) the influence of the Modern Jazz Quartet with its peculiar balance of arrangement and improvisation, and 2) the influence of Milt Jackson. Do we think of the MJQ just because it's vibes/piano/bass/drums or because of the way the music is presented?
What I found very nice was that your guesses brought other possible influences between vibists - you will understand as you read the answers. Thanks a lot for taking your time and your inspiration!
1 - Fats Sadi - Sadisme (Boland), from Fats Sadi's Combo : Vogue 10-inch LP, licensed to Blue Note
Roger Guerin (tp,tu) Nat Peck (tb) Jean Aldegon (b-cl) Bobby Jaspar (ts) Fats Sadi (vib) Maurice Vander (p) Jean-Marie Ingrand (b) Jean-Louis Viale (d) Francy Boland (arr) - Paris, France, May 8, 1954
72153638.jpg
One of you suggested Hamp - Sadi may have been exposed to him more than to Bags. Maybe the heavy rhythmic focus of the piece adds to this impression: Boland always had astrong rhythmic component in his writing. I, for one, love this style. The Boland/Sadi connection goes back to 1949. Because many of the board are serious Blue Note collectors I thought this would be an easy one ... Sadi uses rather hard mallets, no vibrato, is a less lyrical but rather hard swinging, rhythmic vibist.
2 - Don Ellis with Al Francis: Four And Three (Ellis), from New Ideas, New Jazz LP, CD reissue on Original Jazz Classics
Don Ellis (tp) Al Francis (vib) Jaki Byard (p) Ron Carter (b) Charlie Persip (d) - Englewood Cliffs, N.J., May 11, 1961
512zuXliAsL.jpg
This is Al Francis's only recording besides an extremely rare trio session from 1986. A great talent ... I love the open, spacy feel of this, the 7/4 time, and I love Don Ellis - I think his early combo albums are all fantastic. He was an exciting trumpet player.
3 - Mike Mainieri - Blues On The Other Side, from Argo LP Blues on the other side
Mike Mainieri (vib) Bruce Martin (p) Julius Ruggiero (b) Joe Porcaro (d) - New York, September 5, 1962
51i2uXwo-hL._SL500_AA280_.jpg
Now this is one of the tracks that clearly show the Bags/MJQ influence. Mainieri was and is an accomplished jazz soloist. This was his first own album after a long stint with Buddy Rich, among others.
4 - Geoff Keezer with Steve Nelson: Headed Off At The Pass (Keezer), from Here And Now, Blue Note CD
Geoffrey Keezer (p) Steve Nelson (vib) Peter Washington (b) Billy Higgins (d) - New York, October 3-4, 1990
51jLLM-Y3PL._SY300_.jpg
Kezzer absorbed many influences, McCoy Tyner is only one of them. I love the close vibes/piano interaction here, both are soloing more or less at the same time. This is rarely done and takes good ears. It's rather busy, of course, but I think they do it well. I admire Keezer a lot, who has a special thing with vibes players - after Nelson it was and is Joe Locke (no room for him on this BFT disc.) This may be one of the 1990's Blue Note discs many of you passed on ...
5 - Buddy Montgomery w. Melvin Rhyne: Beautiful Love, from Impulse LP This Rather Than That
Buddy Montgomery (vib) Melvin Rhyne (org) Jimmy Rowser (b) George Brown (d) - Chicago, September 10-11, 1969
montgo_budd_thisrathe_101b.jpg
Buddy was a real good vibist besides being a seriously Bud Powell inspired piano player. I had several Mastersounds tracks in mind but stuck with this one as there are so few vibes tracks with organ, it's a very rare LP, and Rhyne is another favourite.
6 - Flip Philipp / Ed Partyka Octet: Out Of Work (Philipp), from CD Offtime, ATS Records
Flip Philipp (vib, arr) Ed Partyka (b-tb) Jure Pukl (ts) Daniel Nösig (tp) Heinrich Bruckner (frh) Adrian Mears (tb) Milan Nikolic (b) Christian Saalfellner (d) - Stockerau, Austria, February 14-16, 2011
octet-offtime.jpg
Seeing this band live a few years ago in Vienna during a day off on a tour was probably the most fun live jazz gig I ever witnessed. I've been a fan of this band ever since. They can't make a living from it, just meet every (or every other) year, storm brains about their tunes and who they want to play them with, write the stuff, rehearse it, play a gig or two and record it. This is from their latest. I love their deep sense of humour, the way they draw inspiration from many combos of that size in jazz history (Mingus and Teddy Charles have been mentioned) etc. Highly recommended. You can get the CDs from Flip Philipp directly: http://www.flip-philipp.at
7 - Christopher Dell: The World We Knew (Over And Over) (Bert Kaempfert), from CD The World We Knew, Act
Christopher Dell (vib) Carsten Daerr (p) Oliver Potratz (b) Eric Schaefer (d)
51-P-qtHZ6L._SY300_.jpg
This CD made quite a stir when it was issued - tribute albums were (and still are) en vogue, and doing all Kaempfert tunes (he was really big over here) was an offbeat idea. Dell even got Kaempfert's old guitarist Ladi Geisler to participate. I was surprised that a Canadian board member knew Dell!
8 - Walt Dickerson: Elizabeth (Dickerson), from LP This Is Walt Dickerson! (New Jazz/OJC)
Walt Dickerson (vib) Austin Crowe (p) Bob Lewis (b) Andrew Cyrille (d) - Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 7, 1961
41q0xRRMHNL.jpg
This is a great ballad, making one think it is an old, beautiful standard tune. No need to say much about Dickerson.
9 - Paul Bley with Dave Pike: O Plus One (Carla Borg i.e. Bley), from LP Solemn Meditation, GNP Crescendo (Fresh Sound reissue)
Paul Bley (p) Dave Pike (vib) Charlie Haden (vib) Lennie McBrowne (d) - Hollywood, August 21, 1957
519LMZxBN-L._SY300_.jpg
Bley early in his career, clearly MJQ inspired, but on his own way already. Would you have thought this is Pike? I find it very interesting what players like Pike and Mainieri did early in their careers.
Edited by mikeweil

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I have #1 and 5, but I didn't get those. Great music overall.

Thanks Mike. I can't wait to see the other answers.

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Jeez - this is my most pathetic showing in any BFT yet, and you've only posted part of the answers. My only excuse for missing three tracks in my collection is that I was on the others side of the country from my record collection, and had little time to devote to the BFT this month. Still - pathetic!

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So here's the remaining tracks:
10 - George Shearing with Cal Tjader: Mood For Milt (Tjader), first on an MGM 78, later on 12" LP A Shearing Caravan, but never on CD except for a French box set reissue pictured below.
Cal Tjader (vib) George Shearing (p) Toots Thielemans (g) Al McKibbon (b) Bill Clark (d) - Los Angeles, March 13, 1953
098456.jpg31EGgAGL5rL._SY300_.jpg
Tjader early in his career with Shearing, writing and playing a tribute to Bags. Tjader was a great writer and arranger early in his career. His vibes sound in 1953 actually was much better and more beautiful than Bags' ...
Shearing was for vibists what Blakey and Silver were for horns. The list of vibists in Shearings quintet is very long.
11 - Cal Tjader: Love Me Or Leave Me, from Savoy EP and 10" LP, several CD reissues
Cal Tjader (vib) Hank Jones (p) Al McKibbon (b) Kenny Clarke (d) - New York, October 21, 1953
51%2BxZVt4N9L._SY300_.jpg
More Tjader, in a MJQ bag - he definitely had listend to their recordings. Savoy and Fantasy both wanted him after the MJQ signed with Prestige. He chose Fantasy as it was located in California. Another example of Tjader's arranging talents.
12 - Milt Jackson: Tenderly, from CD The Modern Jazz Quartet, Lost tapes, Germany 1956-1958 (Jazz Haus)
51ppbnzvtrL._SX300_.jpg
AFAIK this is Bags' only unaccompanired vibes solo recording. It was made on the spot after Joachim Berendt requested a solo, because he liked Coleman Hawkins' "Picasso" recording and asked if Bags could do something like it.
13 - Cal Tjader: If You Could See Me Now (Tadd Dameron), from CD The Best of Cal Tjader Live At The Monterey Jazz Festival
Cal Tjader (vib) John Lewis (p) Richard Davis (b) Roy Burns (d) - September 17, 1977
51TZvpbQuoL.jpg
This was an impromptu all star Tjader quartet at the Monterey Jazz Festival. After recording the Warm Wave LP with strings for Verve, there was an interview in down beat in 1966, where Tjader expressed his wish to do an all ballad LP with hank Jones, Richard Davis, and Grady Tate. It's a pity this was never realized. This was as close as he would get, besides the 1977 Galaxy LP Breathe Easy. Tjader was a melodic player, confessed he didn't have the technique for flashy improvisations, and loved melodic beauty.
14 - Bill O'Connell with Dave Samuels: Cobblestones (O'Connell), from CD Triple Play Plus Three, ZOHO
Bill O'Connell (p) Dave Samuels (vib) Richie Flores (cga) - April 25, 2010
51vtctMuFmL.jpg
I first heard O'Connell with Mongo Santamaria's band 1975-76, where he was a good but unspectacular pianist, but he has grown into one of the most profound Latin Jazz musicians around and writes lots of nice tunes. He leads a regular trio, Triple Play, with Flores and flutist Dave Valentin. Samuels is the only Burton disciple in this BFT. He made a Tjader tribute CD for Verve, but it didn't really touch me. His affinity for latin ryhthms is very good, though.
15 - Buster Williams (b) with Roy Ayers (vib): My Funny Valentine, from Muse LP/CD Crystal Reflections
New York, August 30, 1976
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IMHO Roy Ayers has the most beautiful vibes sound ever. I cherish this album. Besides that, he is an excellent rhythm player. His jazz chops are intact, but rarely displayed .... Tjader and Hamp were his first inspirations to pick up the vibes, BTW.
16 - Jim Alfredson's Dirty Fingers: Ding Dong (John Patton), unreleased bonus track for Kickstarter subscribers of the CD.
Jim Cooper (vib) Jim Alfredson (org) Ralph Tope (g) Randy Gelispie (d) - August, 2013
dirtyfingers.jpg
I hope Jim reads your comments on this track ..... it's nice you heard the Larry Young kick he was on when recording this track. Jim referred me to these bonusses when I asked him if he had any useable outtake with vibes for the BFT.
17 - George Shearing Quintet: Ding Dong! Merrily on High (Trad. French, 16th century), from CD Christmas with the George Shearing Quintet, Telarc
Don Thompson (vib) George Shearing (p) Reg Schwager (g) Neil Swainson (b) Dennis Mackrel (d) - April 7-9, 1998
51qcD65JGML.jpg
A previous BFT hipped me to this CD which was my favouríte jazz Christmas album this season. It was a must to round up the disc with such a tune ..... Don Thompson's many talents include great vibes playing.
Well, that's it. I'm curious for your new insights ..... Thanks again, and happy new year!
Edited by mikeweil

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Bill O'Connell is a new name to me, a welcome one. What is Richie Flores' musical lineage? I don't usually care for Dave Samuels too much, but he was on time on this one.

Used to see that Bley side back in the day (GNP seemed to have good distribution in these parts), always passed, always figured (for no good reason) it should be some kind of nondescript "cool" thing...should've known better, eh? That's a very nice piece, never paid attention to Carla contributing that early...I always thought her tunes first got played by George Russell, but if this is 1957...whoa. That's a composer right there, Carla Bley. Is the rest of the album at this level?

The Mike Mainieri cut would disgust me for being so MJQ-ish, Mainieri himself in particular, but...oh well! Is this taken directly from the LP? Who produced? Engineered? It sounds great! And who, pray tell, is was Julius Ruggiero? Vinnie Ruggerio, the drummer, him I know. Is this his brother, or is that just a coincidence, the same last name? And consider the unplanned symmetry of Joe Porcaro returning to the BFT exactly one year later, in December of 2013. A true Christmas miracle! :g

And hey, Mr. Alfredson, I meant what I said about gladly going to a club to hear the band on #16. Get 'em down here, please. That would be a good night out.

Bottom line - I think we've established a new rule - every December BFT going forth must have one cut with Joe Porcaro. A decree has gone out!

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Richie Flores is the # 1 fasthand conga player on the salsa scene for many years now. He started out with straightahead Latin music, paid dues with Eddie Palmieri and the like, but expanded his musical horizons systematically.

I'll re-listen to the Bley to answer your question. The Pike quartet added on the Fresh Sound reissue is a bit more straightahead.

I bought the Mainieri as an amazon download, so i have no liner notes or engineerig credits .... No idea about the Ruggieros. Joe Porcaro is a great drummer. Did tons of studio work in L.A. - I learned to appreciate him with Emil Richards' Microtonal Blues Band where he handled those sophisticated meters with admirable ease.

If I get the December 2014 BFT I'll see to that!

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I think the only artist I have been familiar with is George Shearing, but I didn't recognize his playing. :( I do recognize the cover of Jim's album, but I haven't heard it yet. I did really enjoy your disc and am looking forward to getting into the artists which songs I really liked, exploring more of their music, so I'm happy I participated anyway. Thank you, Mike for sharing this lovely music! Happy New Year to you too and to all of you other players! Looking forward to the next game where, although there will be voices included which is more my field, I do not expect to recognize much, lol. A safe New Year's Eve to you all!
Kind regards, page

Edited by page

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How did I miss Flip Philipp. : 0 ) There is always something new, which is why these things are so much fun.

Thanks very much for some really good music.

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All right, now I see why I could only identify one song. This very enjoyable BFT has provided much food for thought--and a new shopping list. Thanks for a quite unique and unexpected treat at the end of the year!

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Listening to the Bley while the kiddies outside are starting their premature explosions ... This album definitely is more boppish than cool, much more modern than the MJQ ever was, everybody gets his spots and is integrated in the development of things. I'd recommend it. The Pike LP, which was recorded as "The Jazz Couriers" is even more MJQish.


Don't be mislead by Bley's title track; "Solemn Meditation" was written by bassist Sam Gill for a Riverside session with Randy Weston. Great tune selections on that LP.

Edited by mikeweil

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Lastly, thanks for all the kind words - I couldn't invest as much time in preparing the selections as I had wanted, thus all the hassle with the files, but it seems it wasn't all that badly done. Last night I spent the first half typing the answers, and the second with nightmares of tracks mixed up, song sequences turned upside down, roasted chestnuts and hilarious scenes that would have made a cartoon director proud .... to add up to a not quite satisfactory new year's eve I still fight my cough and headache and it turns out I grabbed the wrong bottle at the local biofood store, so we both had a dose of alcoholic champagne although we had wanted to avoid it this time. My wife is slightly mad as she feels dizzy - she never, never drinks alcohol. This whole year was busy and crazy and that's the way it rounds up, it seems. Have a good time and take my best wishes for the coming year!

:party::party::party::party::party:

Edited by mikeweil

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Mike, this one was a lot of fun, and very enjoyable. Thanks for all the effort, and having such good taste.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

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Richie Flores is the # 1 fasthand conga player on the salsa scene for many years now.

Ok, I am out of touch with whatever I need to be in touch with what that means...when y'all feel a bit better, please explain?

Whatever it means, the dude sure sounded fine to me!

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Ever since Giovanni Hildalgo hit the Latin scene in the early 1990's a technical revolution has been going as far as conga playing is concerned. He adopted rudimental snare drum techniques to the conga, like paradiddles etc. - before him everybody was convinced this was impossible.His first instructional videos dropped jaws of conga players the world over and sent us all back into the woodshed. He was fast, accurate and exuberant: Listen to his solos on Hilton Ruiz' "Manhattan Mambo" and you will get the idea.

51OcVtgf8rL.jpg

Some of his buddies, most of all Richie Flores, picked up his ideas. Jerry Gonzalez recommended these guys study music beyond Latin, learn a keyboard or other to expand their musical horizons and structure their playing with more sophistication than just adding patterns. You heard the result: a concept beyond old style tumbao playing. He's really good at this. Check out the first Triple Play CD, and watch the video on the REMO site I linked where he plays like a trap set player, crossing hands and all - he's not just fast, but musical. It's frightening. Before Hidalgo and Flores did it this was believed to be impossible on the congas. But let's see what their hands look like in twenty years.

51fftS4CMEL.jpg

Edited by mikeweil

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Mike,

Thanks for this - I think every track was at least enjoyable. More than made up for the weird stress that seemed to be present by being involved.

As a bonus there are a few things to go look for.

I shall even let the slap of "I was surprised that a Canadian board member knew Dell!" go without comment!

Michael

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[The picture of a Willie Humphrey album cover was posted here in error, in case anyone was wondering.]

Edited by jeffcrom

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I shall even let the slap of "I was surprised that a Canadian board member knew Dell!" go without comment!

That was meant as a genuine compliment.

Actually I have no idea how well known some German jazz players are on the other side of the pond ...

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Ever since Giovanni Hildalgo hit the Latin scene in the early 1990's a technical revolution has been going as far as conga playing is concerned. He adopted rudimental snare drum techniques to the conga, like paradiddles etc. - before him everybody was convinced this was impossible.His first instructional videos dropped jaws of conga players the world over and sent us all back into the woodshed. He was fast, accurate and exuberant: Listen to his solos on Hilton Ruiz' "Manhattan Mambo" and you will get the idea.

51OcVtgf8rL.jpg

Some of his buddies, most of all Richie Flores, picked up his ideas. Jerry Gonzalez recommended these guys study music beyond Latin, learn a keyboard or other to expand their musical horizons and structure their playing with more sophistication than just adding patterns. You heard the result: a concept beyond old style tumbao playing. He's really good at this. Check out the first Triple Play CD, and watch the video on the REMO site I linked where he plays like a trap set player, crossing hands and all - he's not just fast, but musical. It's frightening. Before Hidalgo and Flores did it this was believed to be impossible on the congas. But let's see what their hands look like in twenty years.

51fftS4CMEL.jpg

Thanks for the explanation. I know of Hildalgo, but not of his "instructional" activities, nor of their wider impacts. Not surprised, either, that Jerry Gonzalez would be a factor in moving things along. He's always seemed to be that type of guy.

I noticed a difference in Flores' playing on the cut involved, but it never dawned on me that that was what it was....interesting.

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[The picture of a Willie Humphrey album cover was posted here in error, in case anyone was wondering.]

I admit I was wondering, but ...

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The Mike Mainieri cut would disgust me for being so MJQ-ish, Mainieri himself in particular, but...oh well! Is this taken directly from the LP? Who produced? Engineered? It sounds great!

On his website Mainieri states Rudy Van Gelder engineered this album. Seems he took care of the transfer himself, as he links downlöad sites from his catalog.

Edited by mikeweil

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Listened to #2 again. I always thought I might be able to pick out Al Francis. He does have a style and as you pointed out there are only a couple of examples to draw from. Well, again I was wrong.

I have this album as well, which I'm going to pull out tomorrow.

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